You Don’t Need a Loan to Love

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

ss peter and paul embrace

I have to smile when I read in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another.” I smile because I know that in today’s world few people owe nothing to anyone. We have credit card debt, mortgages, student loans, car loans, and new loans to consolidate old loans. It would seem that we actually owe everything to everyone.

These debts are of this world. I am pretty sure no one residing in heaven is still making mortgage payments. We have created contracts in this world to make possible certain transactions of goods, services, and shelter. But there is one thing that we naturally owe one another and that lasts longer than our time on earth: love.

You do not need to take out a loan to have more love to give. There also is no limit to the love you have been given to share. However, it is the one gift that we sometimes treat with the least respect. We hold back love due to sins of pride, prejudice, and apathy. We distort and manipulate love for our own gain and selfish desires. We can find ourselves placing more importance on the things for which we have taken out loans than the love that is eternal.

I am trying the best I can to get to a point where I no longer owe anything to banks and mortgage lenders. I don’t want to leave this world owing anyone for the earthly things I had in this life. But even more importantly, I realize the shame it would be to leave people behind that didn’t get enough love from me. There is nothing greater than love.

Do You Know Him?

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time 2017

jesus-pop-art-study

Sometimes when I ask one of my children about who they were with or about a classmate at school they answer me with, “You don’t know them.” Apparently, since I do not know him or her personally, I do not need to know the person’s name. I may not know this person but I do know that they exist in the everyday life of one of my children. If my child doesn’t share with me anything about their friend or classmate, I can only assume he or she has no great impact on my sons or daughter’s daily life. Of course, sometimes the response I get is simply my teen being a typical teen.

Has Jesus had a significant impact on your life? Do you know Jesus personally? If someone asked you about him what would you say?

My children respond the way they do to me because they are still young and immature. However, some of adults are immature as well: immature in faith. We shy away from any discussion of God in our lives and we rarely share our faith. Most days we will not be asked the question, “Who is Jesus?” But we will be in situations where we are being called to share a little bit about ourselves. If Jesus has truly changed our lives and we never seem to want to share something about him with others, they may as well assume that he has had no real impact on us. On the other hand, if we are mature disciples in Jesus Christ, I suspect that others can’t help but know about the great friend we have in him.